Anyone ever get involved in using their equipment doing storm/hurrican cleanup work?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    We worked in NY areas around the city in November, places totally devastated. Although moving and loading junk/garbage around isnt precise work or anything to rant and rave about, if you've ever been involved in work like this, i'd like to hear from you ! thanks
  2. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    Im registered here for storm/hurricane cleanup. Ive done contract work for clearing roadways and streets for utility crews.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Kepple Services

    Kepple Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Yes I have, both on the private end... I.E. cleaning properties after a storm, as well as FEMA hauling...
  4. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    Have any of you signed up directly and worked directly with FEMA or sub contracted with another company or government organization in between you and FEMA?

    How long did it take to get paid after the day/week/month you did the cleanup work?

    We worked on long island, NY , in November 2012, We were there from the 8th through the 26th, 24/7 operations with 4 machines... it feels/felt like 3 months worth of work, i kept saying, no way we've only been here two weeks!

    Did you get contracts directly from FEMA, or the company that had the contract with them?
  5. Kepple Services

    Kepple Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    We worked for the main FEMA contractor. We have done a few storms. All held 10%, and all but one paid us our retainer within a reasonable amount of time. One held it so long we wrote it off until they got audited and had to pay us. Other than that we would turn in our tickets at the end of the week and get paid the next week.

    Most of the FEMA contracts are in place long before a storm hits. We never worked 24/7. We only worked daytime hours. Not sure how that changes things for you. All we did was the hauling portion. Never did demo/ROW clearing/etc.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    thanks kepple... we were required to invoice daily... literally invoice for today's work 24/7 had to be in by end of day tomorrow. We still have not seen a dime, and now the contractor in the middle is telling us they've only paid us for 800hrs when we have accounted for 1150 on the books. Not only that, but NY department provided us with diesel fuel for the machines, since the operation rate hourly is so low... literally $59/hr for a shift came out to be $700 per machine for half a day's work, now they're trying to pull some BS about how we're being backcharged fuel. This was the first time ever doing any work with any of our equipment where we did not provide our own fuel, but was something taken into consideration before start of the work because for $1400/24hrs a day to run a 50-70k machine around plus paying an operator $20+ an hour, no where to stay, no hotels, no food places open, having to go across THREE $12 bridges, turnpike tolls etc to get there, it wasn't a slam dunk job. If we were busy with the machines prior, i would have turned it down, but instead of them sitting in November before we do snow work, may as well put them to use. Our daily billed rate for 4 machines operating 24/7 was a joke really, but not bad considering you'd make X thousands more each week that you wouldn't have made before.

    We had problems with **** in the streets getting run over, paint, spray paint cans, paint cans, ethers, floor cleaners, sometimes stuff was so toxic smelling in the streets, we'd have to leave to go work on another street. The machines had paint, scrapes from debris damage to them not to mention, the two JD 2011 and 2012 332D skid steers, had to replace 8 tires in the end of three weeks because they all had 600 nails/screws/staples/slices in them. Had about 6 of them plugged twice before they still leaked and was forced to just replace all of them, $600 per goodyear titan tire!

    Both track machines had a billion nails/screws etc. stuck in the tracks, took two of us a couple hours here and there just to take them all out by hand/pliers.

    It was a learning experience for sure, if your going rate is $145.00/hr per machine, dont work no matter what hours for less and anything involving hazardous cleanups, has to pay more hourly, not less, not half or 1/3 the amount.
  7. Kepple Services

    Kepple Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Sounds like its a mess. The last haul job we did was for $4.50 a yard. We have a few 60 yard grapple trucks. the previous jobs we did was $7 a yard. It was just not worth it for the lower price. We get calls after almost every single storm, but turn them all down. Unless someone comes at us with a $7-$9 a yard price we will continue to. We keep our trucks busy full time so we done need storm work to survive like some do. Should be decide I go and do storm work again we would buy another grapple truck and send that instead. Would work out nice for us also, even I all we did was pay for the truck at the end we could use the truck locally here, so it would be a win/win for us.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    Did your subs and employees get paid? Glad i skipped on that one!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    We didnt have any subs, but yeah all our employees and temp hired employees in November were all paid within a few weeks at most after they completed work. I won't short anyone money they're legitimately are owed, but the companies above don't work from the same ethics book... I mean if an employee forgot to cross his "T" i wouldnt stick it to him and not pay for that day/shift.

    We still have not been paid. I did find out, after now dealing with an attorney already to collect a huge sum of money, that the guy/company who contracted us, was paid in February finally, and then he never paid us. He basically doesn't have the money now to pay us after pulling some BS with the companies above him. Supposedly the main companies "thought" they were giving him a check for us "written out to us" in February, so this type of situation couldn't happen, but in turn, they paid the guys "other" company and so they were somewhat in disbelief when i finally call them up asking, WTF is our money?!

    Its not 100% the guys fault who hired us though, while doing the work, somehow, NY dept. of sanitation didnt have our crew/employees properly accounted for, so there are FIFTEEN+ shifts at 10-12hrs each where they didnt pay us for as well, then there are shifts they had accounted for us, but only for like 2hrs, 4hrs, 5hrs, 7hrs etc.... not the 10-12hr shifts we were hired for and our employees worked. We paid the employees full shifts, so if they were on 12hr shifts, they get paid 12hrs, even if the DSNY farted around and didnt start on time, ended early or went on break.

    GET THIS though... it appears by some of the paperwork i've seen, that mid-day, when the sanitation employees went on THEIR brakes for sometimes well over an hour and left our equipment/operators sitting standby on some demolished side street... that they doc'd them hours? As in, they signed them in and out of their own log sheet from say 8am-noon, then 1:30pm-4 and so we were only paid 7.5hrs on a 10hr shift, where our employees were there from 7am-5pm :/ I've never seen anything as shady as this whole FEMA / NY work in my life. I know some contractors are illegitimate even if they're legal/big companies, but after billing "per shift" per machine, twice a day for 24/7 operations for all of November, to then be asked for hour accounting in early February and be told were paid for 800hrs not the 1150+ we billed for three months prior is unethical.
  10. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    Some pictures from the work...

    $5800 in tires/JD wheels for ONE of the 332D skid steers... honestly it was the smart move instead of the damage we were taking on the tires on an daily basis to $600 Goodyear standard HD tires.. but it took 5 days to order in to dealer in NJ, picked up, we installed them in between shifts on one machine, i was too cheap to buy another setup for the 2nd machine with tires.. glad i didnt because now they're going to just sit in our garage..

    Some others are photos of crap we had to move, load, push..
    The damage to the machines from scrapes, track/tire damage, paint/ethers/aersol cans etc all over everything, you name it... i had freon from an AC unit spray all over me inside a brand new $70k 329D machine the second shift out in it. Stuff jamming in between the grapple buckets and hydro lines, bent/broke two fittings and at least 4-5 lines... finally switched to straight buckets toward the end of the money even though they were nearly useless, instead of "not" getting paid when a bucket line breaks for a shift, i'd rather do less work and know we will always get paid.


    Mount Holly-20121129-01355.jpg






Share This Page